Dr. Sudeshna Guha | Department of History


Dr. Sudeshna
Department of History
Center for Archaeology, Heritage & Museum Studies
School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS)
E 360
Block-2nd Floor, Library Building, Shiv Nadar University
NH 91 Tehsil Dadri, Gautam Buddha Nagar Uttar Pradesh
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Profile Summary 

Dr. Sudeshna Guha researches on histories of visualisation, social histories of archaeology and ancient civilizations, the making of archaeological heritage and national cultures, and methodologies of material culture studies. She is trained in field archaeology and apart from teaching South Asian history and archaeology, have a long professional backgound in curatorship, through management of historical photographic archives and archaeological collections. Her research focuses on shifts and transformations of notions of evidence and issues of historiography––unil now through enquiries into the histories of archaeology, photography, museums, collections and archives. Dr. Guha's book Artefacts of History (SAGE, 2015) engages with aspects of the historiography of Indian archaeology, and the edited volume The Marshall Albums: Photography and Archaeology (Mapin/Alkazi Collection of Photography, 2010) is on select histories of the photographic practices of the colonial Archaeological Survey of India. At present, she is writing a book on Objects and Histories (Hachette, New Delhi), which attempts to seek aspects of Indian history through the social lives of select objects. She is also developing research on histories of memories and perceptions with respect to state formation in Sikkim, and on the post-colonial archaeology of cultural heritage in South Asia.

Dr. Guha is interested in supervising Ph.D. students who wish to research on histories of archaeologies and museums, heritage and issues of ethics, historiographies of pre-colonial India and Bronze-Age civilizations, archaeology and the nation, and the Arts of Early India.

Educational Qualifications 
Post doctoral research
Dept of Archaeology, University of Cambridge
Ph.D. Archaeology
Deccan College, University of Poona
M.A. Ancient Indian History Culture and Archaeology
Deccan College, University of Poona
B.A. History (Hons.)
Lady Sri Ram College, University of Delhi
Work Experience 
Department of History, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Shiv Nadar University, Delhi-NCR
I currently work here
Associate Professor,
Department of History, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Shiv Nadar University, Delhi-NCR
Tagore Scholar,
National Museum,
New Delhi
Research Associate, Digital Archives (ECLAP) and Redevelopment project,
Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology,
University of Cambridge
Visiting Faculty, Dept. of History,
School of Oriental and African Studies,
University Lecturer (Unestablished post), South Asian History,
Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies,
Research Curator, Photographic Collections,
Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology,
Curatorial and Exhibition Assistant,
Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology,
Curatorial Assistant,
Victoria and Albert Museum,
Assistant Staff,
Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology,
Guest Lecturer,
Lady Sri Ram College,
University of Delhi
Assistant Arts Officer,
British Council Division,
New Delhi
Teaching & Research Interests: 

Histories of Archaeology, The archaeology of South Asia and Early India, Art and Architecture of Pre-colonial India, Historiography, Visual Histories, Materiality, Museum Studies, Cultural Heritage and Ethics, Archaeology and Nationalism

Conferences (Select): 

Conference: ‘Design, Culture and History: The Idea of Objects in Modern and Contemporary India’, The K.R. Cama Research Institute, Mumbai (5-6 January 2019)

Lecture for the Plenary Session: ‘Antiquities and Design Towards a Nation: Object Lessons for Archaeology’ (5 January 2019)


Conference: ‘The Idea of Culture: An International Conference on Teaching History’, Seagull Peaceworks, Kolkata (3-5 August 2018)

Lecture: ‘Curating Cultures: Collections, Practices and their Histories’ (3 August 2018)


Conference: ‘Heritage, Decolonisation and the Field: A Conference’, 26 and 27 January 2018, German Historical Research Institute, London and UCL Institute of Archaeology (London)

Closing Keynote: ‘Decolonising South Asia through Heritage- and Nation-Building’, 27 January


Conference: ‘Survey, Mapping and Cartography’ 6 January 2018, Telengana State Gallery of Fine Art, Hyderabad, organized by the Kalakriti Archives in partnership with Bonjour India, for the 15th Krishnakriti Festival of the Arts and Culture of Hyderabad.

Lecture: ‘Archaeological and Architectural Surveys and Map-making in India’


Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, Dhaka, 28 March 2017 and Ancient India Iran Trust, Cambridge, Michaelmas Term Lecture Series, 21 October 2016

‘Nineveh in Bombay and Histories of Indian Archaeology’


Ambedkar University, Delhi, Centre For Community Knowledge

‘Photographs as Histories: Looking Through Collections’, 21 September 2016


Conference: ‘Capacity Building For Museums in India’, 12–14 September 2016

School of Arts and Aesthetics, JNU (New Delhi) in collaboration with Nehru Trust for the Indian Collections at the V&A and Goethe Institute, Max Müller Bhavan, New Delhi

Lecture: ‘Drawing in the World? Museums as Public Spaces, 14 September 2016


Tagore Scholar, National Museum


British Academy, Small Research Grant


Evans Fellowship Committe Grant, Cambridge


The Nehru Trust for the Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London


Commonwelath Visiting Scholar, Dept of Archaeology, Cambridge


Junior Research Fellow, University Grants Commission, India

Scholarly Activity

Books & Book Chapters

Guha, S., 2015, Artefacts of History: Archaeology, History and Indian Pasts (SAGE, New Delhi)

Guha, S., (Ed.), 2010, The Marshall Albums: Photography and Archaeology (Mapin/Alkazi Collection of Photography, Ahmedabad/New Delhi)

Guha, S., 2014, 'Civilizational Heritage and Archaeological Practices within South Asia' in C. Sandis (ed.) Cultural Heritage Ethics: Between Theory and Practice (Opne Book Publishers, Cambridge), pp. 103-16.

Guha, S., 2014 'Heritage, Archaeology and the Indus Civilization' in D.N. Jha (ed.) The Complex Heritage of Early India: Essays in Memory of Ram Sharan Sharma (Manohar, Delhi), pp. 37-70.

Guha, S., 2012, 'Material Truths and Religious Identities', in M. Dodson (ed.) Banaras: Urban History, Architecture, Identity (Routledge, London)

Guha, S., 2005, 'Archaeology and Photography', in R. Lenman (ed.) The Oxford Companion to the Photograph (Oxford, Oxford University Press), pp. 42-4.

Journal Publications (accepted or published)

Guha, S., 2017, '"Nineveh" in Bombay and Histories of Indian Archaeology', Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh (Humanities), Vol. 62 (1), pp. 65–85.

Guha, S., 2005 'Negotiating Evidence: History, Archaeology and the Indus Civilisation', Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 39 (2), pp. 399-426.

Guha, S., 2003, ‘Mortimer Wheeler’s Archaeology in South Asia and its Photographic Presentation’, South Asian Studies, Vol. 19, 43–55.

Guha, S., 2003, ‘Imposing the Habit of Science: Sir Mortimer Wheeler and Indian Archaeology’, Bulletin of the History of Archaeology, Vol.13 (1), 4–10. Reprinted in Man and Environment 28 (2), 2003, 111–5.

Guha, S., 2002, ‘The Visual in Archaeology: Photographic Representations of Archaeological Practice in the Indian Subcontinent’, Antiquity 76, 93–100.

Guha, S., 2000, ‘South Asian Photographs in the University of Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology’, Man and Environment, Vol. 25 (1), 89–96.

Guha, S., 1993, ‘Indian Archaeology: Exploring the Present’, Antiquity, Vol. 67, (No. 257), 918–21.

Guha, S., 1994, ‘Recognizing “Harappan”: A Critical Review of the Position of Hunter-Gatherers within Harappan Society’, South Asian Studies, Vol. 10, 91–7.

2019 ‘Decolonizing South Asia through Heritage and Nation Building’, Future Anterior, Vol. 16 (2), 31-46.

Conference Publications

Guha, S., 2013, Beyond Representation: Photographs in Archaeological Knowledge', in O.M. Abadia and C. Huth (eds.) 'Speaking Material: Sources for the History of Archaeology, Complutum, Vol. 24 (2), pp. 173-88.

Guha, S., 2012, 'Curating Data, Disseminating Knowledge: Museums in Digital Age', in P. Nesi and R. Santucci (eds.) ECLAP: 1st Internatioanl Conference on Information Technologies for Performing Arts, Media Access and Entertainment (Firenze University Press), pp. 41-6.

Guha, S., 2004 'The Making of Institutional Archives: Photography of Ethnology and Archaeology' South Asia Archive and Library Group Newsletter, No. 2, November, 16-20.

Guha, S., 2004, 'Sights of Reference: Photography in the Construction of an "ethnographic" Record', in F. Kerlogue (ed.) Performing Objects: Museums, Material Culture and performance in Southeast Asia, in Series Contribution in Critical Museology and Material Culture (Horniman Museum Publication, London), pp. 87-102.

Guha, S., 2004, 'The Camera and the Spade: Photography in the Making of Archaeological Knowledge', Visual Knowledges (electronic format: ISBN 0953271331)

Guha, S., 2012, 'Visual Histories, Archaeology and Photographic Knowledge', in R. Allana (ed.) 'Depth of Field', Lalit Kala Contemporary 52, pp. 29-40.